Effective Supervision

Know the limits of supervision. If there are too many students to supervise properly, stop the activity and ask for assistance.

A supervisor should never be alone with a child. Ask another employee or a parent to stay until the last child is picked up.

Recruit Participants

If possible, put some of the responsibility of supervision on the participants; very rarely, however, does this happen initially with a new group. It is even less likely to happen for younger groups. It can work, however, if expectations are set from the beginning and then reinforced throughout the program. This process starts in small ways.

New teachers are often concerned they will not be seen as “fun people” if they introduce expectations, rules, etc. too early in their contact with students. Be assured there is no contradiction between being an enthusiastic, positive, fun teacher who also enforces the rules.

Michael Taylor has been around gymnastics since 1968 as a competitor, coach, judge, club owner, director, recreational athlete, and administrator. He is currently the recreation and facilities director and risk manager for a small Silicon Valley City in northern California. He can be reached via email at mtaylor@saratoga.ca.us.

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